Nadia Giosia isn’t your average food show host. On Cooking Channel’s Bitchin’ Kitchen, she’s a sexy, tattooed Julia Childs for a younger, edgier audience. The 32-year-old Montreal native started cooking at the age of 11 and, in her words, “sucked pretty hard at it.” But making meals was an important part of her family growing up. “We were food obsessed. Cooking was how we expressed ourselves.”
“Everyone likes to have a good meal made for them. If you cook for a woman you’re going to get a lot of… props.”
Her show attempts to breathe new life into the cooking show genre. “We wanted to bring a bit of comedy to it and do things around themes, like breakup brunches and dysfunctional family dinners.” You don’t need a special theme to eat right, however. Nor does Nadia G think it’s terribly hard for a single man living alone to eat right. “In general, people eat too much meat,” she advises. We can only imagine that this is doubly true of the man who eats out a lot or microwaves just about every meal he consumes, but G has some easy answers.
Chicken breast is an excellent choice for the man who wants a no-frills, protein-rich dinner. “Marinate it for 24 hours in full-fat yogurt and add some cilantro,” advises Miss G, who says that not only does the yogurt provide flavor and tenderize the meat, it also supplies healthy bacteria. And now you’ve got some versatility. Do you want fajitas? Something simpler like chicken breast drizzled in olive oil? Greek-style wraps? Make any of these dishes happen easily with a few extra ingredients.
Stews are another good option for the single guy on the go. “Stew doesn’t take a lot of time to prepare and you can eat it for days.” It also allows you to make use of all the bits and pieces of other food you might otherwise throw out.
Pasta is an old standby from the days of Top Ramen for breakfast, but G suggests doing it in a healthier, more adult fashion. “Pasta fazool is Italian for ‘broke ass,’” she jokes, adding that if you’re going to dare to be lazy, you absolutely, positively must have organic stock. When dressing it, never use cheap canned parmesan. Always get the real thing. “Calling that powdered junk ‘parmesan’ is like calling Nickelback a rock band.” And that’s coming from a Canadian!
Of course, at the end of the day, well-prepared food isn’t just about your health. It’s also a great way to woo the ladies. “Everyone likes to have a good meal made for them,” says G. “If you cook for a woman you’re going to get a lot of… props.” Interpret that anyway you want, then check out the relatively simple, positively bitchin’ chicken, pasta and bacon chocolate dishes on the following pages. (We threw in some bonus shots of our new favorite chef as well.) Bon appetit!
2 cups plain yogurt
3 garlic cloves plus a little extra, degermed
1 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled
1 cup fresh cilantro plus a little extra, chopped
2 chicken breasts
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1 jalapeno pepper
3 ripe mangos
1 ripe avocado
Brown rice, optional
Chicken marinade: In a food processor, combine yogurt, garlic, peeled ginger, 1 cup cilantro and a small pinch of sea salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste. Blend until smooth. Pour the marinade into a large Ziploc bag. Rinse the chicken breasts, pat dry and add to the marinade. Smush them around and place the bag in the fridge for 24 hours.
Lime-cilantro dressing: In a jar, combine the juice of 2 limes, olive oil, honey and Dijon mustard. Add a big pinch of finely chopped fresh cilantro, a small pinch of garlic, 1 teaspoon minced jalapeno pepper flesh (add seeds if you like it hot), a small pinch of sea salt and lots of freshly cracked pepper. Cover the jar and shake until thick.
Heat the grill to high and sear the marinated chicken breasts in a skillet for 2 minutes per side. Turn grill to medium-low and cook for an additional 5 to 6 minute per side. In a bowl combine slices of ripe yellow mango and ripe avocado. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of lime-cilantro dressing and mix to coat. Combine with chicken breasts and serve with a side of brown rice (optional).